Cage Contender XIV will hit Dublin this weekend. John Ferguson & Co haven’t disappointed the Irish masses with a pulsating card that boasts two UFC veterans competing for title honours and a couple of hometown heroes in Owen “Rowdy” Roddy and Paddy “The Hooligan” Holohan.
The light-heavyweight title will be up for grabs in the main event of the evening which will see UFC and K-1 veteran, Ivan Salaverry, pit his wits against Frasier Opie who boasts knockout power in his hands and some excellent go-to submission moves.
The pride of Ballymun, Owen Roddy, will defend his featherweight title in the co-main event of the evening, and if his last appearance in Dublin’s National Basketball Arena was anything to go by—this could be one of the loudest ovations Europe has witnessed at an MMA event.
Roddy has long been considered one of the greatest pound for pound fighters in Europe. After a rare and short lived campaign to get “Rowdy” a fight against Jens Pulver (which “Little Evil” didn’t seem to want any of) Cage Contender have come up trumps with established UFC scrapper, Shannon Gugerty taking up the offer of a title shot against Roddy.
A win for SGBi legend Roddy, could really cement his place amongst the mainstream of the sport, somewhere the Irish MMA community believe he should have been situated for a long time.
From one of John Kavanagh’s SBGi protégés to another, the unbeaten Paddy “The Hooligan” Holohan will face off against Artemij Sitenkov in the final of the Bantamweight Grand Prix.
“The Hooligan” (who was out of action for a stretch with a broken arm), is well known for his jiu-jitsu game that has caused opponents trouble across the board. On his return from injury in the semi-final—in one of Ireland’s most anticipated fights which saw him face off against Damien “The Rage” Rooney—Holohan looked reinvigorated and shocked the Belfast crowd when he knocked their hero out with a kick followed by strikes.
The new string to the experienced grappler’s bow sent shockwaves through the bantamweight scene, and despite facing a tough challenge in Artemij Sitenkov, Holohan will be more confident than ever before.
Former Waterford MMA prospect, Peter “The Show Stopper” Queally, now of SBGi, will make his second appearance as a professional when he faces Mick “The Basher” Brennan who is coming into the fight off the first win of his career.
Queally has proven himself as a dynamic striker over his amateur career (4-0) and has also shown a good engine in all of his tests. He is a real athlete who can mix it up with the best of them at lightweight.
“The Show Stopper” will look to live up to his name. The Kilkenny-based Brennan could reshape his young fledgling career if he takes a result home from Dublin on the July 21.
An impressive amateur, Karl Moore’s first professional fight was a bout for another promotion’s Light Heavyweight strap. He’s young, confident, and brash and he seems to have the skills to back it up.
The FAI man has sent out a warning to everyone in the division, calling out Jeff Monson and several others in the lead up to this clash with Brazilian, Washington Ferreira. A win for him could launch him into the higher ranks of the scene.
A stacked undercard will see Gavin Kelly of Evolve MMA take on Kieran Lee who is a product of Tony Carrick’s from MMA Lucan. Another of Lucan’s finest, Keith Elliot will take on fan favourite Johnny Dargan of SGBi.
Jonny Origan of Coolmine MMA takes a big step up in the stakes when he faces off against Glenn Moore of the Kyoujin team after Gerald “RPG” McKee of Evolve takes on Josh Mahoney of KTP.
In a scrap that could well be fight of the night, FAI’s Joe McColgan will take on SBGi’s James “Sexual” Heelan—the greatest alias in MMA history.
McColgan is coming off a win against Heelan’s team mate, Levi Kehoe, and in that bout he showed that he isn’t afraid to sit in the pocket and strike with the best of them.
The Northern Irish man’s unorthodox approach to striking makes him a hard puzzle to figure out, but Heelan has proved in the past that he is well able to break opponents down.
Modestas Ukaitis of Shootfighters will open up the card against Colin Tyndale, fighting out of KTP, which should get the crowd in full voice straight off the bat.
Tickets are selling out quickly but get to your nearest Xtra Vision or log on to www.cagecontender.com to get your piece of the action come Saturday night.